Sit back and enjoy the flight…and the magazine. If travel writing is your niche, that standard flight-attendant message should get your attention.
Let me explain.
With the Thanksgiving holiday in the rearview mirror, an estimated 30 million people in the U.S. are back home or back to work after catching a plane to celebrate. Many more travelers will book flights between now and New Year’s.
And for every passenger, there’s a little something for them in the seat pocket in front of them. No, I’m not talking about the barf bag. It’s the in-flight magazine.
It’s a hidden market for travel writing a lot of freelancers overlook. You won’t find many of these custom pubs listed in Writer’s Market (there’s only two listed).
But nearly every airline in the world has one. And most in-flight magazines depend on freelancers for travel writing pieces, profiles, features, and front-of-book content.
Want some of those travel writing assignments? Explore these 20 world-class in-flight magazines and start pitching.
If you want to land more freelance writing jobs, you want to try and throw strikes every time you pitch a market, a magazine, or a niche blog.
Think of it like you’re trying to win the World Series of freelance writing.
It’s a numbers game. The more you practice, the more consistent you’ll be at landing assignments. And the more money you’ll score for the home team.
What should you do before you pitch a story idea? Start with a warm-up.
Study the market. Read back issues. Check the site or publications for the writer’s guidelines playbook. Do a little research or even a pre-interview with a source.
Then wind up and throw a pitch in the strike zone with a great idea for a story or blog post.
Looking for freelance writing jobs? Pitch these 99 markets to move up and earn more:
Can you land a freelance magazine assignment without any clips?
If you’re new to freelancing and don’t have a lot of writing experience, it’s easy to think you can’t.
But it’s just not true.
About a year ago, I started at ground zero. I was pitching local newspapers and charity organizations. And I wasn’t getting anywhere. Not even low-paying gigs or pro bono work.
How was I ever going to land a magazine assignment without any clips?
Fortunately, Carol set me straight. “You need to learn how to pitch successfully,” she said.
Instead of chasing dead-end clients, I decided to go big and pitch a major magazine – the kind of magazine that has a massive readership, millions in ad revenue, and a freelance budget that pays pro rates.
And it worked. Pitch accepted.
Want to know how I did it? Here’s how you can land a major magazine assignment without any clips or experience.
Are you a writer in search of an article idea? These days, the big-earning article writers have loads of ideas for editors.
But if you’re someone who really finds idea generation tough, there’s another way to earn well. You can do it by getting more mileage out of your short stack of ideas.
Get out of the habit of coming up with one article idea, landing an assignment, and then moving on.
Instead, think in terms of spinning that one little idea straw into a big pile of gold.
How? Here are ten different ways:
It’s been nearly 6 years since this post was originally published — and it’s been one of my most popular ever. The need to write strong query letters has only grown in the years since, so I thought it would be a good time to put it out there again. Enjoy!–Carol
I often have freelance writers tell me they don’t think writing a query letter is worth the effort. They get a lot of rejections, and feel it’s basically a crapshoot…and so much easier to sign on to a content-mill dashboard for a guaranteed few bucks’ worth of work.
It’s true that querying isn’t a sure thing. But if you take the time to learn this skill, it can really help you move up and earn big.
I regularly get lucrative assignments off of query letters and guest post pitches, and I continue to believe querying is a vital skill for successful freelancers.
With so many writers turned off of queries, taking the time to learn how to write a compelling query letter is well worth the effort, as it makes you stand out in today’s marketplace. Querying can open doors when you don’t know anyone at a publication or company, and make a connection that could turn into an ongoing relationship.
For instance: I recently sent one query letter that got me $6,000 of assignments. And I’m reproducing it in full below.